Turning the page: Who's saying goodbye and who's just getting started

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Men's hoops

Departing player: Channing Frye, center

Who to look for: Mustafa Shakur, point guard

Channing Frye made everyone forget former center Loren Woods in his four years on the Arizona men's basketball team.

The Phoenix native improved in each of his four seasons as a Wildcat, finishing this season with averages of 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds on 55.4 percent shooting.

With fellow senior Salim Stoudamire (18.4 points, 50.4 percent shooting, 50.4 3-point shooting) also leaving, Arizona figures to miss Frye's consistency with a young squad next season.

(Re)enter Mustafa Shakur.

The junior-to-be point guard (8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists) has turned in eerily similar numbers in his first two seasons, belying just a bit of the hype he received coming in from Philadelphia.

With junior guard-forward Hassan Adams still undecided about a jump to the NBA as of May 4, Shakur may play a large role as anyone in the team's success in 2005-2006.

"In Mustafa, so many people just see what he does in terms of scoring, but there is no question that he is one of the best guards at getting the ball down the court in a hurry that we've had," said Arizona head coach Lute Olson in his season-ending press conference April 5.

- Compiled by Tom Knauer


Departing player: Andre Torrey, defensive end

Who to look for: Bryon Smith, defensive end

Senior defensive end Andre Torrey was picked up by the New England Patriots two weeks ago, and for good reason.

The Bay Area native led the 2004 Arizona football team in sacks and tackles for loss while taking on a captain's role.

With head coach Mike Stoops' emphasis on defense, that side of the ball will continue to be the area that makes or breaks the 2005 squad.

"Defense wins games and we'll just have to build on that. Most of our defense is coming back so we feel real confident going into next year," said freshman cornerback Antoine Cason following the team's 34-27 win over ASU in November.

One addition the Wildcats made over the offseason was defensive tackle Bryon Smith.

Smith was a first-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American with 65 tackles and seven sacks in his sophomore season with Kilgore College.

His 6-foot-2, 295-pound frame will anchor the Wildcats' interior line.

Stoops called Smith a prototypical defensive lineman in an article in the Arizona Daily Star this spring.

- Compiled by Charles Renning

Women's hoops

Departing player: Dee-Dee Wheeler, point guard

Who to look for: Malia O'Neal, point guard

As Arizona senior point guard Dee-Dee Wheeler departs for the WNBA, the Arizona women's basketball team will have a large void to fill next season.

The Chicago native was drafted 26th overall by the Los Angeles Sparks and is Arizona's highest-ever draft pick.

"Ever since she's put on her uniform, she's had an impact immediately," said Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini. "She has a great deal of confidence, and that confidence rubs off on her teammates. She's improved every year."

Wheeler leaves Arizona as the second all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,966 points. She also ranks first in games played (124), games started (118), minutes played (4,032), minutes per game average (32.5) and steals (304).

Despite the records, Wheeler puts others' success ahead of her own.

"Those accolades don't mean much," she said. "But this season I dedicated to my grandma, so those are great honors to have in her name."

Incoming freshman Malia O'Neal looks to replace Wheeler's vacancy at point guard and will most likely compete with sophomore guard Ashley Whisonant for the starting role.

O'Neal led Seattle's Garfield High School to the Class 4A state title this year as she averaged 17.4 points per game on 52 percent shooting.

"I think she's going to be a great point guard in our system," Bonvicini said. "She is going to have a huge impact on the game. She's a winner and she's very unselfish."

- Compiled by Lindsey Frazier


Departing player: Trevor Crowe, left field

Who to look for: Jason Donald, shortstop

While the Arizona baseball team will likely lose juniors catcher Nick Hundley, first baseman Jordan Brown, pitcher John Meloan and pitcher Kevin Guyette, among others, to the major leagues, no loss will be worse than that of junior left fielder Trevor Crowe.

Crowe, a candidate for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top collegiate player in the nation, leads the Pacific 10 Conference in total bases, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, doubles and triples, and ranks in the top 10 of six other offensive categories.

"He's a good leader in the sense of how he plays the game," head coach Andy Lopez said. "He plays hard. He's a real joy to coach, an outstanding young man."

Sophomore shortstop Jason Donald will lead the team on and off the field next year in the wake of the expected losses from the junior class.

After an impressive freshman year, Donald struggled at times this year, hitting .280 with five home runs and 26 RBIs through May 4.

Donald will be depended on to be a middle-of-the-order threat after batting seventh most of this season.

He said he knows what to expect stepping into a new role next season.

"You just have to go about your business in the right way," he said. "You can't force yourself upon people. I'm just going to do it the right way and work hard."

- Compiled by Michael Schwartz


Departing player: Jackie Coburn, third base

Who to look for: Kristie Fox, shortstop

Third baseman Jackie Coburn entered May 4 tied with Jennie Finch (50) for sixth place on the Arizona softball team's career home run list.

Since her first season as a Wildcat in 2002, when she batted .250 and belted 14 home runs, Coburn has followed in the vein of former teammate Leneah Manuma (2001-2002), a perpetual deep threat in the heart of the lineup.

Yet in her senior season, a year when her power numbers (.252, eight home runs, 35 RBIs) have dropped, Coburn has improved on her career on-base percentage (.396 to .354) and moved her strikeout-to-walk ratio closer to even (23-to-20) than in her first three seasons (137-to-64).

"The key with Jackie is that she's been more consistent this year," said Arizona head coach Mike Candrea. "That was my goal at the beginning of the year, because she's always shown flashes of being really good and then being a little inconsistent. I think right now she comes to the park every day ready to play, and she is definitely a factor."

Candrea said he expects sophomore shortstop Kristie Fox (.375, nine home runs, 57 RBIs entering May 4) to provide much of Coburn's power next season.

"I'm expecting Kristie, obviously, to continue to improve and give us the consistency that she has to this point," Candrea said.

- Compiled by Tom Knauer


Departing player: Kelli Mulvany, libero

Who to look for: Stephanie Butkus, setter

Throughout her senior campaign, libero Kelli Mulvany of the Arizona volleyball team quietly put up huge numbers, as she set both career and team highs in total digs (353) and digs per game (3.45). She notched her 1,000th career dig Oct. 9 against Oregon.

Mulvany, a native of Orange, Calif., provided athleticism and leadership on the court.

"I definitely try to lead by experience and work ethic," she said. "If I go hard every single play, then I feel like others will also try and go that much harder."

Her efforts did not go unnoticed by Arizona head coach Dave Rubio.

"No one in my mind deserves the praise and the accolades more than Kelli Mulvany," Rubio said. "She's been the glue to our team this year. She's going to be a tough one to replace next year."

Junior setter Stephanie Butkus figures to be a key component of Arizona's success in 2005.

After two up-and-down seasons, Butkus will compete for the setting responsibilities and the starting role with sophomore Amy Dyck.

"I think Amy can push Stephanie Butkus in the setting role," Rubio said. "It depends on their commitment level and how hard they are willing to work."

Butkus averaged 12.41 assists and dished out 1,266 this season.

- Compiled by Lindsey Frazier


Departing players: Candice Wilks, forward; Kamaya Damwijk, forward; Lindsey Peeples, defender

Who to look for: Mallory Miller, midfielder; Jennifer Klein, midfielder

The Wildcat women's soccer team will have a significant void to fill as they lose their top scorer in Candice Wilks and their third- best scorer in Kamaya Damwijk. Senior forward Vanesha Bailey, Wilks and Damwijk combined to score 16 of the team's 37 goals this season.

Damwijk walked onto the team for her last year, while Wilks is a four-year veteran of the program.

The Wildcats will rely on senior-to-be Mallory Miller, who led the team with 19 points (5 goals, 9 assists), and Jennifer Klein (3 goals, 4 assists) to drive the team's offense next season. They anchor the two central midfield positions, so most of the offense will run through them.

On defense, the defending Pac-10 champs lose Peeples, the anchor of a defense that allowed a school-record low 11 goals in 21 games this season.

Peeples was the only upperclassman in the back, working alongside three freshmen defenders and a freshman goalkeeper.

"The seniors that left us this year were a huge part of the program," said freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith. "Not having (Peeples) there has affected us in the spring. ... We're going to miss all of them."

- Compiled by Amanda Branam


Departing player: Monica Bisordi

Who to look for: Danielle Hicks

Senior Monica Bisordi made quite an impact on the Arizona gymnastics team, as she leaves as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,081.865 career points. She is the only Gymcat to surpass the 2,000-point barrier and was named to the 2005 Pacific-10 All-Conference team as an all-around performer.

Bisordi earned Pac-10 All-Conference honors four times in her career. In 2002, she was named All-Conference on the beam and in the all-around competition.

This season she participated in the all-around competition in all of the team's 12 meets, and her departure ends a string of 20 consecutive meets in the event.

"She leaves a huge hole of excellence and consistency which will be hard to fill," said Arizona head coach Bill Ryden. "She will be a permanent mark. Her record - I don't see that ever being broken."

Next year the Gymcats will look for Danielle Hicks to step up and take on a veteran role.

Toward the end of this season, Hicks began competing in the all-around competition and performed well, winning in two of three meets over the regular season and finishing eighth in postseason events.

With a young team expected next year - only one senior and two juniors - some of this year's freshmen will need to step up.

"I was happy with all our freshmen this year," Ryden said. "(Competing in) all-around as a freshman, it is truly new compared to international competition. (Hicks) had a great year."

- Compiled by Michael Irish

Track and field

Departing player: Sharifa Jones

Who to look for: Jennifer Whitlock

After transferring from Michigan the summer following her freshman year, Arizona women's track and field senior Sharifa Jones made an instant impact on the Wildcats.

A versatile athlete, Jones competed in a variety of events, from hurdles to the long jump to relays.

"In the three years that she's been here, she's made a tremendous impact," Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said. "She covers so many events."

The school record holder in the 100-meter hurdles outdoors (13.10) and 60 hurdles indoors (8.18), this season Jones earned All-American honors in the 60 hurdles at the Indoor National Championships March 11-12 by placing 11th in 8.25 seconds.

Outdoors, she has qualified for the NCAA West Region Championships in the 100 hurdles (13.28).

Looking to replace Jones' ability and leadership will be sophomore sprinter Jennifer Whitlock, who, like Jones, competes in a wide range of events, notably hurdles and relays.

"(Whitlock's) definitely a person that I think that's going to have to play a major role from the hurdle aspect," Harvey said.

With the Pac-10 Championships and NCAA Outdoor Championships still to come this season, Jones looks to end her career with a bang, as all of her personal records have come in championship meets.

"She's a competitor, she's very fit, and the meets where she does her best work at are coming up," Harvey said.

- Compiled by J. Ryan Casey

Women's swim and dive

Departing player: Emily Mason

Who to look for: Whitney Myers

The Arizona women's swimming and diving team had a lot of standout performances this season but none more so than from senior Emily Mason.

Mason took the national title in the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships in March. The award was Mason's second national title. "Emily was captain and repeat champion. She's not the most vocal person but her actions spoke volumes," said Arizona head coach Frank Busch. "She was instrumental to this season." Mason said that praise like Busch's helped motivated her to swim her best. "Frank's praise and respect is just awesome," Mason said. She added that she will miss every aspect of the word "team" and just being a part of one.

Busch said that sophomore Whitney Myers should fill the void left by Mason next season.

"Whitney is so versatile," Busch said. "She was elected captain so that just goes to show how her teammates look at her. She is a very team-oriented person and does well with the team."

- Compiled by Allison Hamila

Women's tennis

Departing player: Dianne Hollands

Who to look for: Stephanie Balzert, Kasia Jakowlew and Jessie Rochefort

The Arizona women's tennis team is losing three key seniors from this year's squad in Maja Mlakar, Kelly Perry and Dianne Hollands.

Out of the three, Hollands is going to be the hardest to replace on paper. She recorded 99 singles wins in her career.

"She's one of those kids you hope to find," Arizona head coach Vicky Maes said.

Hollands joined the team in the spring of her freshman year, not the fall, forcing her to enter the mix right away.

"She played our third spot that year," Maes said. "We expected a lot from her."

Maes said Hollands improved every year, solely through hard work.

"She's the ultimate student-athlete," Maes said. "She makes the right choices."

Arizona has senior-to-be Stephanie Balzert to take the reins from Hollands, with sophomores Kasia Jakowlew and Jessie Rochefort lending some help.

"Stephanie is going to have a solid year next year," Maes said.

- Compiled by Matt Bassin

Men's tennis

Departing player: Colin O'Grady

Who to look for: Jason Labrosse, Bruno Alcala and Claudio Christen

The Arizona men's tennis team struggled throughout the season but has some shining stars ready for next year.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, senior captain Colin O'Grady will not be one of them.

While O'Grady, who started as a walk-on, wasn't even sure he wanted to play collegiate tennis, the rest of the team is glad he did.

"Colin has been a great leader," said Arizona assistant coach Tad Berkowitz. "Year by year he improved."

O'Grady had the talent to take himself far. It was his focus and intensity that grew the most.

"He went from being a walk-on to earning the No. 1 spot," Berkowitz said. "That's a great achievement."

Junior Roger Matalonga will fill O'Grady's shoes, but it's the team's three freshmen the Pac-10 should be worried about.

"All three are capable of being ranked," Berkowitz said. "Bruno (Alcala), Jason (Labrosse) and Claudio (Christen) were all very impressive this year."

Labrosse, who consistently played in the No. 6 spot, was arguably the most consistent player, getting singles wins against almost every team he faced.

"Bruno is a battler," Berkowitz said. "He loves tennis, he loves to compete."

Claudio, who is 6 foot 5, is a tremendous talent, Berkowitz said.

"He could really jump next year," Berkowitz said.

- Compiled by Matt Bassin

Men's hockey

Departing player: Mickey Meehan, center

Who to look for: D.J. and Mike Pelletier, defensemen

Six Arizona men's club hockey team members departed the program, leaving a big void for the Icecats to fill for next season. In addition to defensemen Keith Mitchell and Mike Smith, wingers Shaun Brooks and Don Holtz, goaltender Bryan Aronchick, and center Mickey Meehan will leave a huge hole in the Arizona squad.

Meehan's senior season was cut short by a torn knee ligament he suffered in the first weekend series of the spring semester.

Before going down, Meehan lit the goal lamp enough to become one of the top 40 scorers in Icecat history.

Aronchick became the first Icecat to record 100 saves on Jan. 29 in Salt Lake City against then-ranked No. 8 Weber State.

"He's the most talented goalie I've ever coached," Icecat head coach Leo Golembiewski said.

Returning for the Icecats are a strong nucleus led by defensive brothers D.J. and Mike Pelletier.

The duo was each hampered by injuries at separate points in the season. D.J. missed two months with a broken finger, and just two weeks after his return in January, Mike suffered a concussion from an illegal hit against Oklahoma, forcing him to watch the remainder of the season from the sidelines.

Golembiewski is looking forward to a 2005-2006 season with a pair of healthy Pelletiers at the helm.

"Next year is going to be great," Golembiewski said. "We're looking at good prospects."

- Compiled by Kyle Kensing


Departing player: Dave Sherman

Who to look for: Carson Parmelee

Dave Sherman, a senior attackman on the men's club lacrosse team, will be a key loss to the Laxcats program.

"This kid (had) one of the most drastic improvements we've seen in a four-year period," said Arizona head coach Ken Broschart. "He's one of those guys that gets two to three goals a game, but just doesn't stand out."

Junior defender Carson Parmelee will look to take the team by storm next season with his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame.

As the junior emerged in somewhat of a leadership role this year, Broschart is enthusiastic about what Parmelee will bring to the table in 2006.

"He's going to step in as a big-time leader. His vocal presence is really what is going to carry this team," he said.

As the Laxcats move closer to a national tournament appearance, Parmelee is already proving his leadership abilities with numerous motivational speeches to his teammates.

- Compiled by David Vickter


Departing player: Justin Kunz

Who to look for: Everyone else

The Arizona Ruggers will lose one of their biggest assets, senior captain Justin Kunz, to the business world when he graduates at the close of the spring semester.

Kunz, a four-year player recruited out of St. Francis High School in Northern California, was nabbed straight into the Arizona rugby program.

He has proven to be a positive force for the program, driving both on the field activity as well as administrative issues among the players off the field.

With regard to next year, Rugger head coach Dave Sitton admits replacing Kunz won't be easy.

"The rugby program has a wide-open book for leadership," he said.

Sitton said the Ruggers have 62 returning players across the three teams - junior varsity, varsity and the Union team - who will all be eager and primed to compete at a higher level next year.

"No position is sealed up on this team," Sitton said. "It's going to be a matter of who is prepared physically with the hard work done over the summer."

- Compiled by David Vickter

Don't forget the rest: Notable departing seniors

Steve Fleming, tight end (football)

  • second on the team in catches (23), yards (332) and touchdowns (two) as a team captain in 2004

  • signed with the NFL's New York Giants as a free agent in April

    Nathan Lashley (men's golf)

  • runner-up as an individual (7-under-par 277) at the Pac-10 Championship

  • first-team Pac-10 Conference selection

  • runner-up as an individual (1-under 212) at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe April 8-9